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A Commentary, Critical, Practical, and Explanatory on the Old and New Testaments, by Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset and David Brown [1882] at

Psalms Chapter 55

Psalms 55:1

psa 55:1

In great terror on account of enemies, and grieved by the treachery of a friend, the Psalmist offers an earnest prayer for relief. He mingles confident assurances of divine favor to himself with invocations and predictions of God's avenging judgments on the wicked. The tone suits David's experience, both in the times of Saul and Absalom, though perhaps neither was exclusively before his mind. (Psa. 55:1-23)

hide not thyself, &c.--(compare Psa 13:1; Psa 27:9), withhold not help.

Psalms 55:2

psa 55:2

The terms of the last clause express full indulgence of grief.

Psalms 55:3

psa 55:3

oppression--literally, "persecution."

they . . . iniquity--literally, "they make evil doings slide upon me."

Psalms 55:4

psa 55:4

express great alarm.

Psalms 55:5

psa 55:5

come upon--or literally, "into."

Psalms 55:6

psa 55:6

be at rest--literally, "dwell," that is, permanently.

Psalms 55:7

psa 55:7

Even a wilderness is a safer place than exposure to such evils, terrible as storm and tempest.

Psalms 55:9

psa 55:9

Destroy--literally, "swallow" (Psa 21:9).

divide their tongues--or, "confound their speech," and hence their counsels (Gen 11:7).

the city--perhaps Jerusalem, the scene of anarchy.

Psalms 55:10

psa 55:10

which is described in detail (compare Psa 7:14-16).

Psalms 55:11

psa 55:11

Wickedness--literally, "Mischief," evils resulting from others (Psa 5:9; Psa 52:2, Psa 52:7).

streets--or literally, "wide places," markets, courts of justice, and any public place.

Psalms 55:12

psa 55:12

This description of treachery does not deny, but aggravates, the injury from enemies.

Psalms 55:13

psa 55:13

guide--literally, "friend" (Pro 16:28; Pro 17:9).

acquaintance--in Hebrew, a yet more intimate associate.

Psalms 55:14

psa 55:14

in company--literally, "with a crowd," in a festal procession.

Psalms 55:15

psa 55:15

Let death, &c.--or, "Desolations are on them."

let them go--literally, "they will go."

quick--or, living in the midst of life, death will come (compare Num 16:33).

among them--or, "within them," in their hearts (Psa 5:9; Psa 49:11).

Psalms 55:16

psa 55:16

God answers his constant and repeated prayers.

Psalms 55:18

psa 55:18

many with me--that is, by the context, fighting with me.

Psalms 55:19

psa 55:19

God hears the wicked in wrath.

abideth--or, "sitteth."

of old--enthroned as a sovereign.

Because . . . no changes--Prosperity hardens them (Psa 73:5).

Psalms 55:20

psa 55:20

The treachery is aggravated by hypocrisy. The changes of number, Psa 55:15, Psa 55:23, and here, enliven the picture, and imply that the chief traitor and his accomplices are in view together.

Psalms 55:22

psa 55:22

thy burden--literally, "gift," what is assigned you.

he shall sustain--literally, "supply food," and so all need (Psa 37:25; Mat 6:11).

to be moved--from the secure position of His favor (compare Psa 10:6).

Psalms 55:23

psa 55:23

bloody . . . days--(compare Psa 5:6; Psa 51:14), deceit and murderous dispositions often united. The threat is directed specially (not as a general truth) against the wicked, then in the writer's view.

Next: Psalms Chapter 56